TOS 50 Book Mission # 11 – “The City on the Edge of Forever – The Original Teleplay written by Harlan Ellison”

This is a great graphic adaptation of a classic original Star Trek story that has a long history for those who call themselves “Trekkie’s”.

Much has been written and debated over the years about this particular Star Trek episode. As for my side of the debate, Eillison’ original concept could never have been filmed in the 1960’s due to the lack of technology (and money) that would have been necessary to ssee his original version on the screen. In addition the social mores of the time would never have permitted this past the TV censors. yes in late 1960’s TV you could depict prejudice if done just right, but drug addiction and dope pushers were not permitted on television society of the time

“The City on the Edge of Forever – The Original Teleplay written by Harlan Ellison” is simply a brilliant masterpiece of science fiction and I believe it could be made as a computer animated movie today with the original cast – and I believe it is possible to use the recorded voices of the original ST:TOS actors who are no longer with us.

What particularly struck me about this adaptation is that we see Spock willing to kill Kirk in order to keep history on its right course, and we get to see Kirk’s reaction to Spock’s rather emotional logic behind his willingness to kill his captain and friend. We also get to see Yeomen Janice Rand in a stronger role, and she assumes command of the landing team at one point.

“The City on the Edge of Forever – The Original Teleplay written by Harlan Ellison” is no doubt different then the aired television episode and in some ways it is indeed better – however I would not say it would have made a better Star Trek episode; yet both have their merits.

Harlan Ellison’s version as written here as a graphic novel is no doubt better science fiction then the original episode mainly because it has a greater depth and shows the souls of all characters with equal flawed grace.

But is it better Star Trek? This debate – among fans may never end.

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